Earlier this month, we reported on a new technology from BlueStacks called “Looking Glass” that brought iOS games to your big screen via a subscription-based console. On Friday, however, the company announced another new console with that technology, but the big selling point here is that it is free and incredibly small. In fact, the company says it is about the size of a pack of gum. Just like with the company’s other Cube console (which isn’t yet released), the BlueStacks Mini does require a subscription commitment, which will run you $7 a month for a year.
It’s worth noting that the BlueStacks Cube is also free with a subscription, but that offer expires on July 1st. The company says that its goal is to always offer a gaming console for free.
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“We have always planned on having a free console option,” said BlueStacks CEO, Rosen Sharma. “The biggest value of the GamePop service is its content – not the box. Hardware costs have come down so fast that we’re able to undercut the rest of the market. With the free promotion we’ve been doing in June we’re already seeing a ton of adoption. That volume then attracts more developers and therefore more and better content. It’s building momentum.”
BlueStacks was relatively cagey with the details of the Mini, not offering anything except the price. It did provide us with a shot of the black version of the console above.
The company wouldn’t say what was powering the console, but did say it will offer the same gaming experience as the larger Cube system. The difference between the two is that the Cube will offer a few more ports and support for accessories.
BlueStacks big advantage with the GamePop consoles is the ability to play iOS games, even though it is powered by Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. Essentially, when the iOS app looks for Apple hardware, the Looking Glass technology translates them into calls for GamePop hardware, and it all requires little work by the original app developer.
Affordable Android gaming consoles have certainly seemed to be a trend lately, with even Google reportedly looking into entering the market.